You don't even look pregnant, but you sure feel pregnant, throwing up a couple of times a day and nauseated non-stop. Here are some ways to cope with the distress while you wait for the first trimester to end, and pray for God's mercy that yours isn't one of those "sick-all-9-months" pregnancies. If you want a lot of more resources and ideas about dealing with morning sickness, see the Gentle Birth website.
If you are losing weight, you may be suffering from a serious condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Let your doctor or midwife know about it and read more about it here.
For more run-of-the-mill versions of morning sicknes, try the following:
Keep Morning Sickness Trail Mix By Your Bed and eat 1-2 T before getting up. (Currants, Carob Chips, and Hazelnuts provide a perfectly balanced mixture to combat morning sickness). Wait for ten minutes while working on the following acupressure point:
Inner Gate (P6). This specific point is on your wrist. And, it is easy to treat by simply applying pressure with your thumb. First, locate this acupressure point on the inside of your wrist. Measure three finger widths up your arm, from the wrist line. Use your thumb to locate the point in the hollow between the two bones and in the middle of the tendons. A slight soreness will let you know you have found the right location. Press the point firmly while you breathe out, and release pressure as you breathe in, repeating eight to twenty times on each wrist. You will get relief from nausea in five minutes time.
Chew your food thoroughly.
Make sure your stomach is never completely empty. Carry fruit, cheese and/or crackers around with you to nibble on throughout the day.
Keep a snack by the bed for when you get up during the night to visit the bathroom or soothe one of the kids.
Also keep a snack by the bed to eat before you lift your head from the pillow in the morning. Then, get up slowly.
Eat a high protein snack before bed at night.
Eat a diet high in carbohydrates and protein, low in fats.
Eat salty, crunchy foods.
Sniff a fresh lemon peel or a slice of orange. (this is a good labor trick as well, if you don't want to vomit during the process)
Drink wheat germ dissolved in warm milk, a few teaspoons every hour.
Take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey in cold water before bed.
Avoid strong odors and stuffy or smoky rooms.
Suck a piece of peeled ginger root.
Sip on red raspberry leaf, peppermint, squaw vine or spearmint tea.
Drink ginger tea made by boiling some ginger root in water. Strain it and add honey to sweeten.
Wear motion sickness bands on your wrists. Locally, these are available in Fountain Square Mall at the 1st Stop Travel Store, 101 W. Kirkwood Ave. # 105, 333- 2772
To avoid actually vomiting, try grasping your tongue with a piece of cloth and pulling gently but firmly.
If you are vomiting a lot, try limiting your diet to a single food, one that you know you can tolerate. Add one additional food per day as you can tolerate them.
Put three drops of lavendar essential oil and one of peppermint in a diffuser or humidifier to scent the air.
Place a cool lavender scented compress on your forehead and a warm lavender compress over your rib cage.
Get a massage with chamomile massage oil.
Drink liquids between rather than with meals.
Avoid greasy foods.
Snack on ginger snap cookies, homemade and with real ginger, if possible.
Get regular, gentle exercise.
Increase your intake of vitamin B6.
Try taking your vitamins before bed.
Give in to your food cravings.
Sip a carbonated beverage.
Get plenty of fresh air.
Try tart flavors; lemonade, sour pickles, etc.
Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating.
Lie completely still with your eyes closed.
Suck on frozen popsicles, especially lemonade.
Get plenty of rest.
original list by Childbirth Solutions, Inc.
Many studies have found that women with morning sickness improve dramatically after taking daily B6 supplements. The logical connection is fairly easy to track down; it all has to do with how vitamin B6 is involved in maintaining normal blood glucose levels.
First of all, B6 is essential for the utilization of carbohydrates (converted during metabolism into glucose, the body's primary source of energy). When the diet provides too little B6, one of the amino acids is converted into a harmful substance which binds to insulin (involved in the body's normal utilization of blood glucose), rendering it useless and impairing the body's use of glucose. As well, B6 is necessary in the release of glycogen (the stored form of glucose found in the liver and muscles). A person deficient in B6 has trouble using the glucose in the blood after meals; between meals, this person's system also has difficulty releasing glycogen to maintain their blood glucose level in a healthy range.
And low blood sugar levels cause nausea. This is because the body is forced to burn proteins and fats as fuel. When fat is burned without the help of carbohydrates (a process called ketosis), there is a leftover byproduct, ketobodies. A build-up of ketobodies causes nausea (as well as brain damage to the unborn child). If the person then avoids eating because of the nausea, or eats and vomits the food, their blood glucose and vitamin B6 levels continue to fall, creating a vicious circle.
In such a case, supplements may be difficult to manage; if the woman is vomiting too frequently to keep an oral supplement down, B6 injections have been found to be effective. Once the vomiting has subsided, the woman can switch to an oral supplement. From the beginning of pregnancy, by eating frequent small meals (including plenty of complex carbohydrates from fresh vegetables and whole grains), as well as including in the diet other natural sources of vitamin B6, women can usually avoid morning sickness altogether.
— Althea Seaver
Excerpted from "Feel Fine: Avoiding Some Common Discomforts in Pregnancy," Midwifery Today, Issue 21
Alternative care for morning sickness:
• Traditional Chinese Herbalist
• Osteopath/Cranialsacral Therapist
• Hypnosis or tradition psychotherapy
First, be sure to fully assess all life stresses. Severe morning sickness has been linked in numerous studies with the mother’s stress level. The most common significant stressors that can often be minimized include work stress, stress from prior loss and grief, stress from relationship issues, the demands of daily parenting, moving, and household management and cleaning. Mothers should eliminate as many potential stressors prior to conception, when possible. This may include hiring help around the home, even from an older child. It may also involve reducing work hours or involving a supportive therapist to help identify non-allopathic ways to minimize stress.
Eating (may not be feasible in severe cases):
• If mother is taking a prenatal vitamin, try stopping this. If she if not taking PNV, have her start taking a food-based prenatal (i.e. New Chapter) to see if this helps.
• The mother should be encouraged to eat anything that appeals, especially protein foods such as boiled chicken or egg with high-quality sea salt as often as possible, chewing the pieces well so that they are easily digested.
• All of the mother’s foods should be prepared for her, if possible.
• She should eat a protein food first thing in the morning (before rising)
• She should have a little protein every hour, even when waking at night
• Nothing spicy or greasy for some, though some moms find that greasy foods (i.e. bacon) will help coat the stomach and provide temporary relief
• Fruit followed by protein can help
• If mom becomes Hypoglycemic (which can happen quickly with HG moms), consider trying GTF Chromium supplement to help stop the vomiting cycle
• Nutritive enema can help when self-hydration and IV is not an option. Anne Frye suggests an enema of wheat grass juice or a combination of liquid chlorophyll and herbal infusions and tinctures that settle the stomach may be helpful. Can be mixed with an electrolyte IV solution such as ringers lactate or unflavored Pedialyte. Infuse slowly with woman on her left side. Have her retain for as long as she can. Once nausea stabilizes, she must immediately begin to drink and eat.
• Add about 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar to every 8 oz of water, and sip day and night.
• Half a lemon in hot water first upon rising and last thing at bedtime will help to clear the liver of the excess hormones.
• If skilled, hydration can be achieved via lactated ringers or saline IV at home (or hospital), when necessary, but can also be achieved via saline, molasses, or recharge enemas if mom is unable to self-hydrate.
• It helps to give mom a daily drinking goal (i.e. sip 1 oz every 15 minutes) If the mom cannot drink easily, have her do ice chips all day, preferably made raspberry leaf tea or Recharge or other quality liquid.
• If mom cannot be kept hydrated, hospitalize her immediately, unless IV fluids can be given at home.
• B6 or B Complex supplementation is thought to be particularly useful in reducing nausea, though not all moms will respond to this treatment and some may actually worsen or feel emotionally "crazed" from it. Vitamin B6 aids liver metabolism.
• If mother is taking B6, it should ideally be taken at night, and may be taken in combination with half of a 25mg tablet of Unisom (a sleeping aid) to create a homemade Bendectin. The mother may take a B6 dose up to 500mg for 1-2 days initially. Usually, supplementing 100 mg of B6 daily will help reduce the symptoms.
• The dose can be administered IM via Rx B6 (difficult to obtain, though possible, ask me).
• One mom reports that, for her, the only solution was a liquid B vitamin supplement (full dropper under the tongue), kept by her bed and taken first thing upon waking.
• Other supplements to try are B12, C, and E and extra magnesium and potassium.
• Vitamin K and vitamin C (25mg of each), taken together, may provide remarkable relief of symptoms for some women. It will likely to 3 days or longer to fully help.
• Ginger root powdered and encapsulated, such as Zingiber officinale taken in doses of up to 25 capsules/ day. Real ginger ale may help some also.
• Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) has been used to relieve morning sickness
• Red Raspberry Leaf, Spearmint, Chamomile Teas or Traditional Medicinals Pregnancy Tea
• Asarum- This remedy is indicated when a woman feels very ill, with constant nausea and retching. She is extremely sensitive to everything—especially noise, which can aggravate the nauseous feelings. She feels best when lying down and resting. Cool drinks or food may help, but it is hard for her to even think of eating.
• Bryonia- A person needing this remedy usually wants to stay completely still and not be talked to or touched. Nausea and vomiting, with pain and pressure in the stomach, can be worse from even minor movements. The person may have a dry mouth and want cold drinks. This remedy can also help with constipation.
• Cocculus- Indications for this remedy include nausea or motion sickness, dizziness, palpitations, headache, numbness, and an empty or hollow feeling in various parts of the body. The person may talk nervously, yawn, or tremble, and likely feels weak.
• Colchicum- Horrible nausea that is worse from the sight and smell of food (especially eggs or fish) often indicates this remedy. The woman retches and vomits, and has a sore and bloated feeling in the abdomen. She has trouble eating anything — although she often craves things, when she tries to eat them they make her sick. She is likely to feel ill from many smells that others don’t even notice.
• Ipecacuanha- For intense and constant nausea that is felt all day (not only in the morning) with retching, belching, and excessive salivation. The woman may feel worse from lying down, but also worse from motion. Even after the woman vomits, she remains nauseous.
• Lacticum acidum- For "classic morning sickness": nausea worse immediately on waking in the morning and on opening the eyes. May salivate a lot and have burning stomach pain. She usually has good appetite and feels better after eating.
• Nux vomica- Nausea, especially in the morning and after eating, may respond to this remedy—especially if the woman is irritable, impatient, and chilly. She may retch a lot and have the urge to vomit, often without success. Her stomach feels sensitive and crampy, and she may be constipated. Can also help with constipation.
• Pulsatilla- If nausea is worse in the afternoon and evening (often in the morning, as well). Woman is not very thirsty, although she may like drinking something cool. She can crave many different foods, but feels sick from most (including foods she craves). Creamy foods or desserts may be appealing, but can bring on vomiting. A woman who needs this remedy usually is affectionate, insecure, and weepy—wanting a lot of attention and comforting.
• Sepia- Gnawing, intermittent nausea with an empty feeling in the stomach. It is especially indicated for a woman who is feeling irritable, sad, worn out, and indifferent to her family. She feels worst in the morning before she eats, but is not improved by eating and may vomit afterward. Nausea can be worse when she is lying on her side. Odors of any kind may aggravate the symptoms. Food often tastes too salty. She may lose her taste for many foods, but may still crave vinegar and sour things. Can also help with constipation.
• Tabacum- This remedy can be helpful to a woman who feels a ghastly nausea with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. She looks extremely pale, feels very cold and faint, and needs to lie very still and keep her eyes closed. If she moves at all, she may vomit violently—or break out in cold sweat and feel terrible.
• Zofran may be considered, as several studies that have been done are favorable. As with most drugs, the long-term impact on the baby is not fully known or understood. Some midwives believe that Zofran, especially when taken in early pregnancy before 10 weeks GA, is associated with placental issues, particularly placental adhesion (this is not validated with any research studies). It is available in dose increments of 4mg and pregnant women should take the lowest dose first as infrequently as possible (no closer than 6 hours apart).
• There is OTC anti-nausea syrup called Emetrol that sometimes provides relief.
• Other than Zofran, there are a variety of prescription drugs that have been used to treat this condition, however, Zofran appears to be the most widely used and studied. These include Kytril (Granisetron), Mirtazapine (Remeron/Remergil), Aloxi (Palonosetron), Anzement (Dolasetron).
• The classic acupuncture point for nausea and seasickness, called Pericardium 6 is located in the middle of the inner wrist, three fingerbreadths away from the wrist crease, between the two tendons. Locate and press firmly, one wrist at a time, or get a friend to hold both for 3 minutes or so.
• "Seabands" are available at drug stores or online for treatment of nausea related to motion sickness. Some women find some relief with these as they put pressure on the P6 point. May not have a great impact in women with more severe symptoms.
• An acupuncturist can also identify other points that may be helpful. Response is very individual to all therapies.
• The mother may get relief from sniffing lemons, menthol, spearmint, etc.
• Lying on a cold hard floor may help some mothers.
• Glutamine and other GI mucosal protectants for gastric ulcer support.
• If mom is unable to leave home, consider using full spectrum lighting to avoid depression.